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Getting Past Anxiety: An Inspirational Novel to Reclaim Your Life Hardcover – June 15, 2017
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"I was hooked from the first intriguing pages of "Getting Past Anxiety" by Melissa A. Woods, and my interest never faded for a moment!" -- Sherrie
"Getting Past Anxiety" by Melissa A. Woods is one of the more different, and enlightening, books I've read in a long time! I was completely engaged from the beginning and could really relate to Stella and her struggles with anxiety." -- John
"Great writing, great ideas (and lines), great characters and conversations, great premise and life lessons.... Overall a terrific read that I feel really delivered in terms of recognizing and dealing with and overcoming our human flaws and insecurities and fears that can stop us from living our fullest, best life." -- Tabitha
"I read a lot of books, but this one really stands out to me as being very inventive and original and delivered in a refreshingly unique manner."-- Essie
"Awesome. Once I started reading "Getting Past Anxiety" by Melissa Woods, I didn't want to put it down until I'd finished." -- Stephan
"What a wonderful book. There were many things I liked about it, but most noticeable off the bat was the author's warm and friendly 'voice' that makes it so enjoyable to read. " -- Layla
"The simplicity, yet insightful and wisdom-packed pages and witty dialogue and quirky characters were great. I enjoyed the unique style and character building Ms. Woods uses, and really felt like I was inside Stella's head as she works out these issues with the people in her life." -- Jhonnie
"The well-written character-driven psychological/spiritual drama "Getting Past Anxiety" by Melissa A. Woods really impressed me by its originality in many areas and terrific insight and an emotionally substantial (and genuinely clever) premise." -- Darla
From the Author
Enjoy my book and reclaim your life today!
Thanks for reading,
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The story begins when Stella, who lives in the Seattle area, is about to get on a plane to fly to New York to visit her boyfriend. Because of her anxiety issues, Stella finds that she just can’t get on the plane, and the situation just gets worse from there. Her anxiety eventually leads to the end of the relationship with her boyfriend. It also makes her afraid to drive, which in turn makes it impossible for her to fulfill her duties in her sales career.
Stella begins looking for answers so she can try to return to a normal life. Eventually, one special person arrives in her life who leads her to another person who leads her to another until she finally meets Rachel, a therapist, who helps her resolve many of her issues from her past that are causing her anxiety.
Rachel is not a conventional psychotherapist but rather someone who uses metaphors and different tools and techniques to help Stella deal with her issues. The foremost of these tools is a special cloth cord that she gives Stella to wear when she feels anxiety. The cord symbolizes the link between Stella and Rachel so it will feel like Rachel is with her in her times of anxiety. On one level, the cord symbolizes the umbilical cord between mother and child, and Rachel takes on a mother role for Stella, healing the pain caused by Stella’s past relationship with her biological mother.
While readers may not want to try out every kind of therapy that Stella tries and may have different results upon their own journeys, the power of this book exists in watching how Stella works through her anxiety issues and the encouragement it gives that the same is possible for the reader.
Nor does life stand still as Stella works on her anxiety. Just as things start to get better for her in one area of dealing with her anxiety, life will throw her a curveball. The novel is very realistic in this regard, and I applaud Woods for how she portrays all the family dynamics and other concerns that Stella has to deal with. Not only has Stella had a difficult and even abusive relationship with her mother, but she has had to deal with grief over her brother who died while in high school. She also has an estranged sister, a somewhat distant and remarried father who ends up coming down with a terminal illness, and a daughter she has raised as a single mom. Her daughter is now ready to go off to college, a situation that only adds to Stella’s anxiety about being alone.
But in the end, Stella does overcome all the issues that confront her. She gets to the root of the causes of her anxiety and she learns how to heal the pain. She explores her past, awakens and soothes repressed feelings, and even comes to an understanding in her relationship with her mother.
For me, Stella is the greatest kind of heroine. No, she doesn’t rescue anyone from a burning building, but she rescues herself. She finds the courage to get on an elevator when she is afraid to. She finds the strength not to go visit her daughter constantly at college but to rein in her separation anxiety. And best of all, she never completely gives up on the possibility that she can be part of a loving family—even if it remains a bit dysfunctional—and at the center of that is her discovery of how to love herself.
Anyone who is dealing with anxiety, or any of its accompanying issues like depression or loneliness, will be surprised and relieved to find Stella is a mirror of his or her own life. And that’s the best message of all from this fascinating debut novel: You are not alone; other people suffer from anxiety too, and they have overcome it, and so you can do the same.
Getting Past Anxiety is a must read if you have suffered from anxiety or know someone who does. It is insightful with how the twist and turns within our lives show up somewhere. And we can either hide from it or seek help for it so we can live our lives to the fullest.
Melissa A Woods did a beautiful job showing us the way to move past Anxiety.....